The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a structured hand cycle training program in individuals with chronic tetraplegia.Â Twenty-two patients with tetraplegia (American Spinal Injury Association Impairment Scale classification A-D) at least 2 years since injury participated.Â The intervention was an 8- to 12-week hand cycle interval training program.Â Primary outcomes of physical capacity were: peak power output (POpeak) and peak oxygen uptake (Vo2peak), as determined in hand cycle peak exercise tests on a motor-driven treadmill. Secondary outcome measures were: peak muscle strength of the upper extremities, respiratory function and participant-reported shoulder pain.
The results showed that patients with tetraplegia were able to improve their physical capacity through regular hand cycle interval training, without participant-reported shoulder-arm pain or discomfort.
Valent, L. J.M., Dallmeijer, A. J., Houdijk, H., Slootman, H. J., Janssen, T. W., Post, M. W.M., van der Woude, L. H. Effects of Hand Cycle Training on Physical Capacity in Individuals With Tetraplegia: A Clinical Trial. Physical Therapy, 2009, 89:10, 1051-1060